Medicare Physicians

News & Analysis as of

Proposed Changes to Stark Rule Would Create New Hospital Exceptions and Lessen Burden of Self-Disclosures

In a development that is limited in scope but still welcomed by hospitals, the proposed 2016 Physician Fee Schedule proposes a number of new exceptions to the physician self-referral or Stark law and other refinements that...more

CMS Seeks Feedback on Home Health Face-to-Face Encounter Clinical Templates

CMS is inviting comments on voluntary home health electronic and paper “progress note” templates intended to assist physicians with documenting a face-to-face examination for purposes of the Medicare home health benefit....more

Proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Includes Changes to Stark Regulations

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") recently released the proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (the "Proposed Rule"), which includes a number of proposed revisions to the regulations under the...more

The 60 Day Rule — Identification and Knowing Avoidance

On August 3, 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an opinion and order in Kane v. Healthfirst, Inc., et al.[1] that provides the first judicial interpretation of the requirement...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: FDA Begins Device User Fee Talks with Patients and Consumers Sept. 15... CMS Extends Partial Enforcement Delay of Two-Midnight Policy Through 2015... Alaska Legislature Sues Governor Over Medicaid Expansion....more

Two-Midnight Rule Update

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a further delay, through December 31, 2015, of the Recovery Auditors’ (RA) audits of the “Two-Midnight” Rule. Congress previously passed a law delaying...more

Another Delay for the Two-Midnight Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced, on August 12, 2015, that it has extended the enforcement delay of the controversial two-midnight rule governing short hospital stays until the end of the year....more

Florida Nursing Home Pays Record Settlement to Resolve Federal Anti-Kickback Case

In a recent case Hebrew Homes Health Network, Inc. and its former president and executive Director agreed to pay $17 million to settle allegations that Hebrew Homes violated the federal anti-kickback statute. According to the...more

Health Law Pulse - August 2015

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a favorable advisory opinion (Advisory Opinion) to a nonprofit health system (System) and a nonprofit psychiatric hospital (Center) regarding a proposal whereby the...more

CMS Continues Its Focus on Quality Initiatives with the FY 2016 IPPS Final Rule

On July 31, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (Final Rule) updating fiscal year (FY) 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)...more

Hospitals Required to Notify Medicare Beneficiaries of Observation Status

The NOTICE Act (Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility) has been signed into law as of August 6, 2015. The Act requires hospitals to provide oral and written notice to patients within 36 hours of...more

CMS Proposes Amendments to Stark Law

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published proposed regulations governing policies and payments made under the 2016 Physician Fee Schedule (the Proposed Rule). Notably, the Proposed Rule...more

CMS Proposed Stark Law Revisions

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published proposed revisions to the regulations implementing the physician self-referral law, or Stark Law. The Stark Law is a key regulatory...more

The “Cross-Your-Fingers-And-Hope-It-Goes-Away” School of Statutory Interpretation”: Recent D.C. Circuit Opinion Orders HHS To...

On June 12, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the “Court”) issued an opinion questioning the Department of Health & Human Services’ (“HHS”) interpretation of congressional intent when it...more

Defrauding Medicare — A Little Help from the Private Sector?

The headline on Medicare last week was astounding — $60 billion (not million) was lost each year to Medicare fraud, large numbers of fraudulent providers were providing fake or bad addresses – meaning locations including...more

Physician Compensation Arrangements Under The Microscope

On June 9, 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Fraud Alert titled, "Physician Compensation Arrangements May Result in Significant Liability," focusing on...more

Recent Stark Developments: A Moving Target Where a Miss is as Good as a Mile

The federal physician self-referral ban or Stark law has been a part of the legal landscape for almost 25 years. The breadth of the law’s prohibitions, its strict liability formulation and draconian remedies have made it the...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - July 2015 #3

New Five-Star Rating System Released for Home Health Agencies – On July 16, 2015, CMS released a new five-star rating system for home health agencies, applying the new quality measure to over 9,000 agencies based on whether...more

CMS Proposes Stark Law Amendments, Requests Comments on Whether Stark Law Is Barrier to Health Care Reform

On July 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its regulations implementing and interpreting the Stark Law (the Proposed Rule). 80 Fed. Reg. 41,686,...more

Proposed Rule Aims to Refine Stark Regulations and Clarify “Incident To”

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the calendar year (CY) 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. In addition to updating several traditional Part B payment policies, the...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - July 2015 #2

CMS and AMA Announce Efforts to Help Providers Get Ready for ICD-10 – On July 6, 2015, CMS and AMA announced efforts to continue to assist providers to get ready for the upcoming October 1 switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 coding...more

Potential Stark Changes Ahead

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published proposed regulations governing policies and payments made under the Physician Fee Schedule for calendar year 2016 (the “Proposed Rule”). In...more

Stark Litigation: The Tuomey Saga Draws to a Close

In what may be the penultimate chapter of the long–running saga of the Tuomey case, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the final judgment and award in favor of the government in its case against Tuomey Healthcare System, Inc....more

Non-Stark Law Proposed Changes to Policies and Payments under the Physician Fee Schedule for CY 2016

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published proposed regulations governing policies and payments made under the Physician Fee Schedule (“PFS”) for calendar year 2016 (the “Proposed...more

CMS Proposes to Revise Payment System for Joint Replacements

On July 9, 2015, CMS released a proposed rule to revise how it pays for joint replacement procedures like hip and knee replacements, also known as lower extremity joint replacements (LEJR). This payment structure, called the...more

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